Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Observation Balloon.

This is coolbert:

From the book "Pegasus Bridge" by Ambrose this entry of mild surprise to me:

"Von Luck [German Panzer commander at Normandy]was also having a bad time. Every two or three days, he would launch armored attacks. But every time his tanks moved, observers in balloons would spot him, radio to the big ships off shore and the planes overhead and 'Whomp,' down on his tanks would come naval gunfire and strafing Spitfires."

Observers from tethered balloons directing naval gunfire immediately in the aftermath of the Normandy Invasion [D-Day]. Apparently also GROUND BASED!

A legacy of the Great War [WW1], at least by 1944 an outmoded and antiquated technique I had long thought passe', no longer in use.

This article from Business Insider provides us with some insight?

"Here’s The Gloomy German Report On The 'Scientifically Conducted' D-Day Invasion"

"--The enemy had deployed very strong naval forces off the shores of the bridgehead. These can be used as quickly mobile, constantly available artillery, at points where they are necessary as defense against our attacks or as support for enemy attacks, During the day their fire is skillfully directed by observation balloons attached to the ships, by aircraft observers, and by advanced ground fire spotters. Because of the high rapid-fire capacity of naval guns they play an important part in the battle within their range. The movement of tanks by day, in open country, within the range of these naval guns is hardly possible." - - from the after action of von Rundstedt.

Barrage balloons YES! Used extensively during the Normandy operation. Balloons with observers tethered to a ship I am not sure about.

Question # 1: Naval gunfire at Normandy was directed by observers in balloons? Question # 2 Balloon with observer if indeed used ground based or "attached to ship"? Which is it?


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